♫ We Didn’t Start The Fire ♫

I last (and only) played this one three years ago, but it’s one of those songs like John Lennon’s Imagine that is timeless.  The lyrics are a stream of consciousness list of more than 100 events that Joel felt his generation was not responsible for. Many of the references are to the Cold War (U.S. vs. Russia), a problem his generation inherited.

we-didnt-start-fire

Joel says he got the idea for the song after a conversation with his friend, Sean Lennon, son of Beatle John Lennon, on the event of Sean’s 21st birthday, .  The conversation went like this:

Lennon: It’s a terrible time to be 21!

Joel: Yeah, I remember when I was 21 – I thought it was an awful time and we had Vietnam, and y’know, drug problems, and civil rights problems and everything seemed to be awful.

Lennon: Yeah, yeah, yeah, but it’s different for you. You were a kid in the fifties and everybody knows that nothing happened in the fifties.

Joel: Wait a minute, didn’t you hear of the Korean War or the Suez Canal Crisis?

According to Joel …

I had turned forty. It was 1989 and I said “Okay, what’s happened in my life?” I wrote down the year 1949. Okay, Harry Truman was president. Popular singer of the day, Doris Day. China went Communist. Another popular singer, Johnnie Ray. Big Broadway show, South Pacific. Journalist, Walter Winchell. Athlete, Joe DiMaggio. Then I went on to 1950 … It’s one of the worst melodies I’ve ever written. I kind of like the lyric though.

Musically, the song does leave something to be desired.  Blender magazine rated this the 41st worst song ever in its 2004 article “Run for Your Life! It’s the 50 Worst Songs Ever!” Comparing it to “a term paper scribbled the night before it’s due.”

But the song carries a message, and that overrides the flaws in the composition, at least for me it does.

My thanks to Keith and Ellen for reminding me of this song and its message …

We Didn’t Start the Fire
Billy Joel

Harry Truman, Doris Day, Red China, Johnnie Ray
South Pacific, Walter Winchell, Joe DiMaggio

Joe McCarthy, Richard Nixon, Studebaker, television
North Korea, South Korea, Marilyn Monroe

Rosenbergs, H-bomb, Sugar Ray, Panmunjom
Brando, “The King and I” and “The Catcher in the Rye”

Eisenhower, vaccine, England’s got a new queen
Marciano, Liberace, Santayana goodbye

We didn’t start the fire
It was always burning
Since the world’s been turning
We didn’t start the fire
No we didn’t light it
But we tried to fight it

Joseph Stalin, Malenkov, Nasser and Prokofiev
Rockefeller, Campanella, Communist Bloc

Roy Cohn, Juan Peron, Toscanini, Dacron
Dien Bien Phu falls, “Rock Around the Clock”

Einstein, James Dean, Brooklyn’s got a winning team
Davy Crockett, Peter Pan, Elvis Presley, Disneyland

Bardot, Budapest, Alabama, Krushchev
Princess Grace, “Peyton Place”, trouble in the Suez

We didn’t start the fire
It was always burning
Since the world’s been turning
We didn’t start the fire
No we didn’t light it
But we tried to fight it

Little Rock, Pasternak, Mickey Mantle, Kerouac
Sputnik, Chou En-Lai, “Bridge on the River Kwai”

Lebanon, Charlse de Gaulle, California baseball
Starkweather, homicide, children of thalidomide

Buddy Holly, “Ben Hur”, space monkey, Mafia
Hula hoops, Castro, Edsel is a no-go

U2, Syngman Rhee, payola and Kennedy
Chubby Checker, “Psycho”, Belgians in the Congo

We didn’t start the fire
It was always burning
Since the world’s been turning
We didn’t start the fire
No we didn’t light it
But we tried to fight it

Hemingway, Eichmann, “Stranger in a Strange Land”
Dylan, Berlin, Bay of Pigs invasion

“Lawrence of Arabia”, British Beatlemania
Ole Miss, John Glenn, Liston beats Patterson

Pope Paul, Malcolm X, British politician sex
JFK, blown away, what else do I have to say

We didn’t start the fire
It was always burning
Since the world’s been turning
We didn’t start the fire
No we didn’t light it
But we tried to fight it

Birth control, Ho Chi Minh, Richard Nixon back again
Moonshot, Woodstock, Watergate, punk rock
Begin, Reagan, Palestine, terror on the airline
Ayatollah’s in Iran, Russians in Afghanistan

“Wheel of Fortune”, Sally Ride, heavy metal, suicide
Foreign debts, homeless vets, AIDS, crack, Bernie Goetz
Hypodermics on the shores, China’s under martial law
Rock and roller cola wars, I can’t take it anymore

We didn’t start the fire
It was always burning
Since the world’s been turning
We didn’t start the fire
But when we are gone
Will it still burn on, and on, and on, and on

We didn’t start the fire
It was always burning
Since the world’s been turning
We didn’t start the fire
No we didn’t light it
But we tried to fight it

We didn’t start the fire
It was always burning
Since the world’s been turning
We didn’t start the fire
No we didn’t light it
But we tried to fight it

Songwriters: Billy Joel
We Didn’t Start the Fire lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

♫ You May Be Right ♫

When I played Billy Joel’s It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me on Friday, at least two people mentioned this song as being their favourite Billy Joel song, so … how could I not play it here?  Annnnnndddd … I haven’t ever played this one before, so it’s not a redux!!!

According to SongFacts …

This is the opening track to Billy Joel’s album Glass Houses. Before the song starts, there is the sound of shattered glass to match the cover picture of Joel throwing a rock into the window of an all-glass house, a parody of the saying, “People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.” This was Joel’s statement to his critics.

According to producer Phil Ramone, it took a lot of effort to achieve the shattered-glass effect. “We didn’t want a typical glass-break effect,” he explained in his 2007 book, Making Records: The Scenes Behind The Music. “We wanted the kind of sound that comes when a large plate glass window breaks, and there’s a split-second delay between the crack and the entire sheet crumbling to the ground.”

They placed sheets of glass on cinder blocks and smashed them with various types of hammers but none of them produced the right sound. Ramone was about to toss a few five-gallon jugs of drinking water down a stairwell – something he’d seen an engineer do to get a glass-breaking effect – when another engineer told him what the problem was: The glass was too thin. To achieve a bloodcurdling shatter, he needed to suspend panes of glass that were more than a quarter-inch thick.

“The following day I ordered the right glass,” Ramone recalled. “When it was delivered, I placed a piece over two wooden horses and smashed it from above. I miked the hell out of it; there were microphones all over the studio – above, below, to the right and left sides, far and near. It took nearly thirty sheets of glass, and the best-sounding take came on the last piece, with one crack of the hammer.

The time and expense was worth it: The harrowing glass-break we captured gave Glass Houses the pluperfect kickoff it deserves.”

The glass house featured on the cover was Joel’s own home in Cove Neck on Long Island. That explains why he didn’t actually throw the rock!

Joel tends to prefer his more obscure songs over his hits, but “You May Be Right” is one of his favorites. Speaking with Stephen Colbert in 2017, he listed it as one of his Top 5.

This song did well in Canada and the U.S., ranking #6 & #7 respectively, but doesn’t seem to have made a dent anywhere else.

You May Be Right

Billy Joel

Friday night I crashed your party
Saturday I said, “I’m sorry”
Sunday came and trashed me out again
I was only having fun
Wasn’t hurting anyone
And we all enjoyed the weekend for a change

I’ve been stranded in the combat zone
I walked through Bedford Stuy alone
Even rode my motorcycle in the rain
And you told me not to drive
But I made it home alive
So you said that only proves that I’m insane

You may be right
I may be crazy
Oh, but it just may be a lunatic you’re looking for
Turn out the light
Don’t try to save me
You may be wrong for all I know
But you may be right

Well, remember how I found you there
Alone in your electric chair
I told you dirty jokes until you smiled
You were lonely for a man
I said, “Take me as I am”
‘Cause you might enjoy some madness for a while

Now think of all the years you tried to
Find someone to satisfy you
I might be as crazy as you say
If I’m crazy then it’s true
That it’s all because of you
And you wouldn’t want me any other way

You may be right
I may be crazy
Oh, but it just may be a lunatic you’re looking for
It’s too late to fight
It’s too late to change me
You may be wrong for all I know
But you may be right

You may be right
I may be crazy
Hey, but It just may be a lunatic you’re looking for
Turn out the light
Oh, don’t try to save me
You may be wrong for all I know
You may be right

You may be wrong but you may be right
You may be wrong but you may be right
You may be wrong but you may be right
You may be wrong but you may be right
You may be wrong but you may be right
You may be wrong but you may be right
You may be wrong but you may be right
You may be wrong but you may be right

Source: Musixmatch

Songwriters: Billy Joel

You May Be Right lyrics © Impulsive Music

♫ It’s Still Rock And Roll To Me ♫ (Redux)

I played this back in 2019 and tonight I’m playing it again … just because I wanted to!  Yes, I know, I have a list as long as my arm of songs you guys have requested and I did look at the list tonight, but then … this one just popped into my head and …

Released in May 1980, this was one of Billy Joel’s most popular songs, and his first #1 hit on the Hot 100, spending two weeks at the top spot in July 1980. The single was certified Platinum, which at the time meant sales in excess of 2 million.

The song is a cynical look at the music industry as a publicist/manager begs the protagonist to remain hip for the younger crowd (“What’s the matter with the car I’m driving?” / “Can’t you tell that it’s out of style?”), and the protagonist’s refusal to change, claiming his music will remain relevant regardless of his appearance. The song was a reaction by Joel to the new music genres that were around in the late 1970s (punk, funk, new wave). It was inspired by Joel reading a review about a particular (unnamed) band, and realizing that he had no idea what their music sounded like.

I love the song, and especially love the saxaphone solo played by Richie Cannata.

It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me
Billy Joel

What’s the matter with the clothes I’m wearing?
Can’t you tell that your tie’s too wide?
Maybe I should buy some old tab collars?
Welcome back to the age of jive
Where have you been hidin’ out lately, honey?
You can’t dress this trashy till you spend a lot of money
Everybody’s talkin’ ’bout the new sound
Funny, but it’s still rock and roll to me

What’s the matter with the car I’m driving?
Can’t you tell that it’s out of style?
Should I get a set of white wall tires?
Are you gonna cruise a miracle mile?
Nowadays you can’t be too sentimental
Your best bet’s a true baby-blue Continental
Hot funk, cool punk, even if it’s old junk
It’s still rock and roll to me

Oh, it doesn’t matter what they say in the papers
‘Cause it’s always been the same old scene
There’s a new band in town but you can’t get the sound
From a story in a magazine
Aimed at your average teen

How about a pair of pink sidewinders
And a bright orange pair of pants?
Well, you could really be a Beau Brummel, baby
If you just give it half a chance
Don’t waste your money on a new set of speakers
You get more mileage from a cheap pair of sneakers
Next phase, new wave, dance craze, anyways
It’s still rock and roll to me

Alright

Ooh, what’s the matter with the crowd I’m seeing?
Don’t you know that they’re out of touch?
Well, should I try to be a straight-A student?
If you are then you think too much
Don’t you know about the new fashion, honey?
All you need are looks and a whole lotta money
It’s the next phase, new wave, dance craze, anyways
It’s still rock and roll to me
Everybody’s talkin’ ’bout the new sound
Funny, but it’s still rock and roll to me

Songwriters: Billy Joel
It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

♫ We Are The World ♫ (Redux)

I have reduxed this one every year since I first played it in … I think 2018.  It carries a message that we all need to hear from time to time.  Right now, all over the world, troubles abound.  Thinking of Ukraine and Ukrainians at the moment, with their struggles to save their country from an evil wanna-be emperor. Climate change is bringing disastrous effects to people around the globe, to food and water supplies, and the list goes on.  Here in the U.S., we are grieving for the lives lost over the past month in multiple mass shootings, especially the lives of 19 children lost in a school shooting in Uvalde, Texas.  Our politicians are playing the already massive divide, further dividing us and some are attempting to subjugate the people of the U.S. to a dictatorial leader.  People all over the globe are suffering in one way or another, and so tonight I play this one for everyone, to remind us that … we all share this planet, that we must come together, find ways to mend our fences, to overcome our differences.  

One of the times I played this, our friend John Howell provided a tidbit that I wasn’t aware of at the time …

“I loved the Michael Jackson comment to all the stars that were in studio for the “We are the World” recording session. He said that egos were to be left at the door and that anyone who had a problem with that would be driven home…by Stevie Wonder.”

I don’t imagine too many egos were on display after that!!!

This song … it is what we need today … and every day.  Please listen and enjoy.


Hello my friends.  With a heavy heart tonight, I was not going to do a music post, but two special people convinced me, without realizing that they had a thing to do with it, to do one … and this one in particular.  I shall explain …

A few nights ago, I was chatting via email with our friend Ellen, and she noted that while sometimes one doesn’t feel that they have a song in their heart, they should … sing anyway!  Tonight, I felt as if I had no song in my heart, and really, I just wanted to go to bed.  But, somewhere in my head, I heard Ellen saying, “C’mon, Filosofa … sing anyway!”

And the second motivator was another dear friend, Dutch (Larry Woller) who posted on his own blog this song … We Are The World … and everything just suddenly clicked into place.

This was a benefit single for victims of famine in Africa. It raised over $60 Million, which was distributed to Ethiopia, Sudan, and other impoverished countries.

Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie wrote this song, and Quincy Jones produced it. This talented trio was perfect for the job: Quincy Jones was the hottest producer around, and his Rolodex (what would now be a contact list) was filled with the biggest names in music; Richie had written songs that went to #1 on the Hot 100 each of the previous seven years (“We Are The World” made it eight); Michael Jackson had the biggest album of 1984 with Thriller (produced by Jones) and was the biggest star in the world.

The USA For Africa project began as an idea calypso singer Harry Belafonte had for a benefit concert featuring black musicians. In late December 1984, looking for artists to participate, Belafonte called Ken Kragen, who managed an impressive roster of talent, including Lionel Richie. Kragen convinced Belafonte that they could raise more money and make a bigger impact with an original song; Belafonte agreed and Richie came on board to help.

Kragen asked Quincy Jones to produce, and Jones enlisted Michael Jackson. Richie got Stevie Wonder involved, and from there, word got out and many members of the music industry signed on to help. The project from conception to recording took about a month.

This all-star charity single was inspired by Band Aid, the British group Bob Geldof put together the year before to record Do They Know It’s Christmas?. Band Aid, which included Bono, Phil Collins, David Bowie, Paul McCartney, and Sting, served as a template, showing how a disparate group of famous artists could come together in one day to record a song.

The stars who sang solos were, in order, Lionel Richie, Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon, Kenny Rogers, James Ingram, Billy Joel, Tina Turner, Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, Dionne Warwick, Willie Nelson, Al Jarreau, Bruce Springsteen, Kenny Loggins, Steve Perry, Daryl Hall, Michael Jackson (again), Huey Lewis, Cyndi Lauper, and Kim Carnes. Bob Dylan and Ray Charles were also featured on the song and given close-ups in the video.

Harry Belafonte, who had the original idea for the project, was in the chorus but didn’t get a solo, joining Bette Midler, Smokey Robinson, The Pointer Sisters, LaToya Jackson, Bob Geldof, Sheila E., and Waylon Jennings as backing singers.

Quincy Jones was responsible for managing the egos of all the stars. It went very smoothly considering some very famous people did not get to sing a line. Most of the singers knew Jones personally and respected his wishes that they check their egos at the door.

Just goes to show what we can accomplish when people of all sorts come together for a common cause.  I think … though the cause is different … this song has just as much meaning for our world today as it did when it was released in 1985, some 34 years ago, don’t you?

We Are the World
U.S.A. for Africa

There comes a time
When we heed a certain call
When the world must come together as one
There are people dying
Oh, and it’s time to lend a hand to life
The greatest gift of all

We can’t go on
Pretending day-by-day
That someone, somewhere soon make a change
We’re all a part of God’s great big family
And the truth, you know, love is all we need

We are the world
We are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day, so let’s start giving
There’s a choice we’re making
We’re saving our own lives
It’s true we’ll make a better day, just you and me

Oh, send them your heart
So they know that someone cares
And their lives will be stronger and free
As God has shown us by turning stones to bread
And so we all must lend a helping hand

We are the world
We are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day, so let’s start giving
Oh, there’s a choice we’re making
We’re saving our own lives
It’s true we’ll make a better day, just you and me

When you’re down and out, there seems no hope at all
But if you just believe there’s no way we can fall
Well, well, well, well let us realize
Oh, that a change can only come
When we stand together as one, yeah, yeah, yeah

We are the world
We are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day, so let’s start giving
There’s a choice we’re making
We’re saving our own lives
It’s true we’ll make a better day, just you and me

We are the world
We are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day, so let’s start giving
There’s a choice we’re making
We’re saving our own lives
It’s true we’ll make a better day, just you and me

We are the world (are the world)
We are the children (are the children)
We are the ones who’ll make a brighter day, so let’s start giving (so let’s start giving)
There is a choice we’re making
We’re saving our own lives
It’s true we’ll make a better day, just you and me

Oh, let me hear you!

We are the world (we are the world)
We are the children (said we are the children)
We are the ones who’ll make a brighter day so let start giving (so let’s start giving)

There’s a choice we’re making
We’re saving our own lives
It’s true we’ll make a better day, just you and me, come on now, let me hear you

We are the world (we are the world)
We are the children (we are the children)
We are the ones who’ll make a brighter day so let’s start giving (so let’s start giving)
There’s a choice we’re making
We’re saving our own lives
It’s true we’ll make a better day, just you and me, yeah

We are the world (we are the world)
We are the children (we are the children)
We are the ones who’ll make a brighter day so let’s start giving (so let’s start giving)

There’s a choice we’re making
And we’re saving our own lives
It’s true we’ll make a better day, just you and me

We are the world (are the world)
We are the children (are the children)
We are the ones who’ll make a brighter day so let’s start giving (so let’s start giving)

There’s a choice we’re making
We’re saving our own lives
It’s true we’ll make a better day, just you and me

We are the world, we are the world (are the world)
We are the children, yes sir (are the children)
We are the ones that make a brighter day so let’s start giving (so let’s start giving)

There’s a choice we’re making
We’re saving our own lives
It’s true we’ll make a better day, just you and me, ooh-hoo!

We are the world (dear God) (are the world)
We are the children (are the children)
We are the ones that make a brighter day so let’s start giving (all right, can you hear what I’m saying?)
There’s a choice we’re making, we’re saving our own lives

Songwriters: Michael Jackson / Lionel Richie
We Are the World lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner Chappell Music, Inc

Saturday Surprise — Fun Facts!

I realized too late last week that Saturday had come and gone and I hadn’t even thought of a Saturday Surprise post, so I vowed not to make the same mistake this week!  I hope you are all having a safe and relaxing weekend so far.  We are, as usual, staying in this weekend, with daughter Chris going out to pick up a few things and a carryout dinner later this evening.

I found some interesting and fun facts over at Bored Panda and I picked 10 of them to share on this post, but if you still want more, I suggest you head on over and see all 50 of them!

I can ABSOLUTELY believe this one!!!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and that you find something to bring you laughter and joy!

♫ We Are The World ♫ (Redux)

I play this one about once a year, for it carries a message that we all need to hear from time to time.  Right now, all over the world, troubles abound.  In Haiti, Cuba, South Africa, protests are rocking the nations.  In much of the world, the new variants of the coronavirus pandemic are causing renewed surges, people are dying and there aren’t enough vaccines in many countries, economies are in trouble, climate change is bringing disastrous effects to people around the globe, to food and water supplies, and the list goes on.  Here in the U.S., we have such a political divide that families are being torn apart and white supremacy is threatening us all.  So tonight I play this one for everyone, to remind us that … we all share this planet, that we must come together, find ways to mend our fences, to overcome our differences.  

When I played this just over a year ago, our friend John Howell provided a tidbit that I wasn’t aware of at the time …

“I loved the Michael Jackson comment to all the stars that were in studio for the “We are the World” recording session. He said that egos were to be left at the door and that anyone who had a problem with that would be driven home…by Stevie Wonder.”

I don’t imagine too many egos were on display after that!!!

This song … it is what we need today … and every day.  Please listen and enjoy.


Hello my friends.  With a heavy heart tonight, I was not going to do a music post, but two special people convinced me, without realizing that they had a thing to do with it, to do one … and this one in particular.  I shall explain …

A few nights ago, I was chatting via email with our friend Ellen, and she noted that while sometimes one doesn’t feel that they have a song in their heart, they should … sing anyway!  Tonight, I felt as if I had no song in my heart, and really, I just wanted to go to bed.  But, somewhere in my head, I heard Ellen saying, “C’mon, Filosofa … sing anyway!”

And the second motivator was another dear friend, Dutch (Larry Woller) who posted on his own blog this song … We Are The World … and everything just suddenly clicked into place.

This was a benefit single for victims of famine in Africa. It raised over $60 Million, which was distributed to Ethiopia, Sudan, and other impoverished countries.

Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie wrote this song, and Quincy Jones produced it. This talented trio was perfect for the job: Quincy Jones was the hottest producer around, and his Rolodex (what would now be a contact list) was filled with the biggest names in music; Richie had written songs that went to #1 on the Hot 100 each of the previous seven years (“We Are The World” made it eight); Michael Jackson had the biggest album of 1984 with Thriller (produced by Jones) and was the biggest star in the world.

The USA For Africa project began as an idea calypso singer Harry Belafonte had for a benefit concert featuring black musicians. In late December 1984, looking for artists to participate, Belafonte called Ken Kragen, who managed an impressive roster of talent, including Lionel Richie. Kragen convinced Belafonte that they could raise more money and make a bigger impact with an original song; Belafonte agreed and Richie came on board to help.

Kragen asked Quincy Jones to produce, and Jones enlisted Michael Jackson. Richie got Stevie Wonder involved, and from there, word got out and many members of the music industry signed on to help. The project from conception to recording took about a month.

This all-star charity single was inspired by Band Aid, the British group Bob Geldof put together the year before to record Do They Know It’s Christmas?. Band Aid, which included Bono, Phil Collins, David Bowie, Paul McCartney, and Sting, served as a template, showing how a disparate group of famous artists could come together in one day to record a song.

The stars who sang solos were, in order, Lionel Richie, Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon, Kenny Rogers, James Ingram, Billy Joel, Tina Turner, Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, Dionne Warwick, Willie Nelson, Al Jarreau, Bruce Springsteen, Kenny Loggins, Steve Perry, Daryl Hall, Michael Jackson (again), Huey Lewis, Cyndi Lauper, and Kim Carnes. Bob Dylan and Ray Charles were also featured on the song and given close-ups in the video.

Harry Belafonte, who had the original idea for the project, was in the chorus but didn’t get a solo, joining Bette Midler, Smokey Robinson, The Pointer Sisters, LaToya Jackson, Bob Geldof, Sheila E., and Waylon Jennings as backing singers.

Quincy Jones was responsible for managing the egos of all the stars. It went very smoothly considering some very famous people did not get to sing a line. Most of the singers knew Jones personally and respected his wishes that they check their egos at the door.

Just goes to show what we can accomplish when people of all sorts come together for a common cause.  I think … though the cause is different … this song has just as much meaning for our world today as it did when it was released in 1985, some 34 years ago, don’t you?

We Are the World
U.S.A. for Africa

There comes a time
When we heed a certain call
When the world must come together as one
There are people dying
Oh, and it’s time to lend a hand to life
The greatest gift of all

We can’t go on
Pretending day-by-day
That someone, somewhere soon make a change
We’re all a part of God’s great big family
And the truth, you know, love is all we need

We are the world
We are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day, so let’s start giving
There’s a choice we’re making
We’re saving our own lives
It’s true we’ll make a better day, just you and me

Oh, send them your heart
So they know that someone cares
And their lives will be stronger and free
As God has shown us by turning stones to bread
And so we all must lend a helping hand

We are the world
We are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day, so let’s start giving
Oh, there’s a choice we’re making
We’re saving our own lives
It’s true we’ll make a better day, just you and me

When you’re down and out, there seems no hope at all
But if you just believe there’s no way we can fall
Well, well, well, well let us realize
Oh, that a change can only come
When we stand together as one, yeah, yeah, yeah

We are the world
We are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day, so let’s start giving
There’s a choice we’re making
We’re saving our own lives
It’s true we’ll make a better day, just you and me

We are the world
We are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day, so let’s start giving
There’s a choice we’re making
We’re saving our own lives
It’s true we’ll make a better day, just you and me

We are the world (are the world)
We are the children (are the children)
We are the ones who’ll make a brighter day, so let’s start giving (so let’s start giving)
There is a choice we’re making
We’re saving our own lives
It’s true we’ll make a better day, just you and me

Oh, let me hear you!

We are the world (we are the world)
We are the children (said we are the children)
We are the ones who’ll make a brighter day so let start giving (so let’s start giving)

There’s a choice we’re making
We’re saving our own lives
It’s true we’ll make a better day, just you and me, come on now, let me hear you

We are the world (we are the world)
We are the children (we are the children)
We are the ones who’ll make a brighter day so let’s start giving (so let’s start giving)
There’s a choice we’re making
We’re saving our own lives
It’s true we’ll make a better day, just you and me, yeah

We are the world (we are the world)
We are the children (we are the children)
We are the ones who’ll make a brighter day so let’s start giving (so let’s start giving)

There’s a choice we’re making
And we’re saving our own lives
It’s true we’ll make a better day, just you and me

We are the world (are the world)
We are the children (are the children)
We are the ones who’ll make a brighter day so let’s start giving (so let’s start giving)

There’s a choice we’re making
We’re saving our own lives
It’s true we’ll make a better day, just you and me

We are the world, we are the world (are the world)
We are the children, yes sir (are the children)
We are the ones that make a brighter day so let’s start giving (so let’s start giving)

There’s a choice we’re making
We’re saving our own lives
It’s true we’ll make a better day, just you and me, ooh-hoo!

We are the world (dear God) (are the world)
We are the children (are the children)
We are the ones that make a brighter day so let’s start giving (all right, can you hear what I’m saying?)
There’s a choice we’re making, we’re saving our own lives

Songwriters: Michael Jackson / Lionel Richie
We Are the World lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner Chappell Music, Inc

♫ Tell Her About It ♫

Well, as I predicted, last night’s song, Precious and Few, did not attract much attention and few people liked it.  I didn’t really care, expected that, but it was one time that I played it just for me.  However, tonight’s song will, I hope, get a few more toes a-tappin’ and fingers a-snappin’, for it played well on both sides of the big pond!

Per SongFacts …

In his biography The Life and Times of an Angry Young Man, Billy Joel talks about when he first started dating Christie Brinkley. He says that she was the first person he could ever just talk to, and they would spent hours just talking – this was the basis for “Tell Her About It.” It’s simply about an a-ha moment for Joel when he realized that you could actually have a soul mate. Joel and Brinkley met in 1982, married in 1985 and divorced in 1994.

Billy Joel both wrote and performed this one.  The video is a spoof of the Ed Sullivan Show, and shows Joel singing the song as if he were on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1963. The cover shot for the UK release of the song was taken from the video, as seen below. An Ed Sullivan imitator (Will Jordan) introduces Joel (as “B.J. and the Affordables”) after Topo Gigio, the talking mouse, finishes his skit. During the song there are different scenes of teenagers watching Joel on TV at home, crowding around appliance store windows watching him, dancing to his song. There is even a brief scene of a Soviet cosmonaut in space listening to the song, with the lyrics displayed at the bottom in the Russian language and in Cyrillic script. At the end of the song, comedian Rodney Dangerfield is there preparing to go on stage under the false impression that he is next, thanks Joel for warming up the crowd. “Patriska the Dancing Bear” is instead called to the stage, much to Dangerfield’s disbelief.

This one reached #1 in the U.S., #4 in the UK, and #5 in Canada.

Tell Her About It
Billy Joel

Listen boy
I don’t want to see you let a good thing
Slip away

You know I don’t like watching
Anybody make the same mistakes
I made

She’s a real nice girl
And she’s always there for you
But a nice girl wouldn’t tell you what you should do

Listen boy
I’m sure that you think you got it all
Under control

You don’t want somebody telling you
The way to stay in someone’s soul

You’re a big boy now
You’ll never let her go
But that’s just the kind of thing
She ought to know

Tell her about it
Tell her everything you feel
Give her every reason to accept
That you’re for real

Tell her about it
Tell her all your crazy dreams
Let her know you need her
Let her know how much she means

Listen boy
It’s not automatically a certain guarantee
To insure yourself
You’ve got to provide communication constantly

When you love someone
You’re always insecure
And there’s only one good way
To reassure

Tell her about it
Let her know how much you care
When she can’t be with you
Tell her you wish you were there

Tell her about it
Every day before you leave
Pay her some attention
Give her something to believe

‘Cause now and then
She’ll get to worrying
Just because you haven’t spoken
For so long
Though you may not have done anything
Will that be a consolation when she’s gone

Listen boy
It’s good information from a man
Who’s made mistakes

Just a word or two that she gets from you
Could be the difference that it makes

She’s a trusting soul
She’s put her trust in you
But a girl like that won’t tell you
What you should do

Tell her about it
Tell her everything you feel
Give her every reason
To accept that you’re for real

Tell her about it
Tell her all your crazy dreams
Let her know you need her
Let her know how much she means

Tell her about it
Tell her how you feel right now
Tell her about it
The girl don’t want to wait too long
You got to tell her about it
Tell her now and you won’t go wrong
You got to tell her about it
Before it gets too late
You got to tell her about it
You know the girl don’t want
To wait, you got to
Tell her about it

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Billy Joel
Tell Her About It lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

♫ Piano Man ♫

I last played this one over two years ago, so I don’t feel too guilty for reduxing it tonight, as I am just too exhausted to go in search of new material.  Tomorrow night, I promise!  I debated  between this one and “It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me” that has a terrific saxophone solo I just love, but this one won the coin toss. 


In 1972-1973, Billy Joel worked at the Executive Room bar in Los Angeles as a piano player using the name “Bill Martin”.  He was in dispute with his then-recording company and took the job to pay the bills while waiting for his lawyers to straighten things out back in New York.  The song Piano Man tells of a number of different characters that were based on real people Joel met while playing in the lounge.

“It was a gig I did for about six months just to pay rent. I was living in LA and trying to get out of a bad record contract I’d signed. I worked under an assumed name, the Piano Stylings of Bill Martin, and just bulls–ted my way through it. I have no idea why that song became so popular. It’s like a karaoke favorite. The melody is not very good and very repetitious, while the lyrics are like limericks. I was shocked and embarrassed when it became a hit. But my songs are like my kids and I look at that song and think: ‘My kid did pretty well.'”

His ‘kid’ did pretty well indeed!  Piano Man peaked at #25 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in April 1974. Following Joel’s breakthrough as a popular musician with the release of The Stranger, it became one of his most well-known songs. It is now a highlight of Joel’s live shows, where he usually allows the audience to sing the chorus in place of him. In 2016, the Library of Congress selected Piano Man for preservation in the National Recording Registry for its “cultural, historic, or artistic significance.”

Piano Man
Billy Joel

It’s nine o’clock on a Saturday
The regular crowd shuffles in
There’s an old man sitting next to me
Makin’ love to his tonic and gin

He says, “Son, can you play me a memory
I’m not really sure how it goes
But it’s sad and it’s sweet and I knew it complete
When I wore a younger man’s clothes”

La la la, di da da
La la, di da da da dum

Sing us a song, you’re the piano man
Sing us a song tonight
Well, we’re all in the mood for a melody
And you’ve got us feelin’ alright

Now John at the bar is a friend of mine
He gets me my drinks for free
And he’s quick with a joke or to light up your smoke
But there’s someplace that he’d rather be
He says, “Bill, I believe this is killing me”
As the smile ran away from his face
“Well I’m sure that I could be a movie star
If I could get out of this place”

Oh, la la la, di da da
La la, di da da da dum

Now Paul is a real estate novelist
Who never had time for a wife
And he’s talkin’ with Davy, who’s still in the Navy
And probably will be for life

And the waitress is practicing politics
As the businessmen slowly get stoned
Yes, they’re sharing a drink they call loneliness
But it’s better than drinkin’ alone

Sing us a song you’re the piano man
Sing us a song tonight
Well we’re all in the mood for a melody
And you got us feeling alright

It’s a pretty good crowd for a Saturday
And the manager gives me a smile
‘Cause he knows that it’s me they’ve been comin’ to see
To forget about life for a while
And the piano, it sounds like a carnival
And the microphone smells like a beer
And they sit at the bar and put bread in my jar
And say, “Man, what are you doin’ here?”

Oh, la la la, di da da
La la, di da da da dum

Sing us a song you’re the piano man
Sing us a song tonight
Well we’re all in the mood for a melody
And you got us feeling alright

Songwriters: Billy Joel
Piano Man lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

♫ She’s Got A Way ♫

I skipped my music post last night, for I was working on one when I fell asleep at the keyboard and woke a few minutes later, too disoriented to continue.  I’m starting earlier tonight!  I know I’ve already played some Billy Joel this month, but this song popped up somewhere a few days ago and it’s been haunting me ever since … well, okay, not haunting, but I keep finding myself belting out a line or two, completely out of tune, at random moments.

This song was originally released on his first studio album, Cold Spring Harbor (1971) and as a single from that album in some countries the following year.  It was also featured as a single from the 1981 live album Songs in the Attic, peaking at #23 in the U.S. and #46 in Canada … as far as I can tell, it did not chart in the UK or elsewhere in Europe.  Clive, Gary, David, Roger, Michael … any of you guys remember this one?

According to a friend of Joel’s, one Bruce Gentile, Joel wrote this song about his first wife, Elizabeth.

In a 1981 interview, Joel expressed mixed feelings about the song: “I thought it was cornball for years. I had trouble singing it at first. Then I got into it and decided everybody has a corny side, I suppose”.

She’s Got A Way
Billy Joel

She’s got a way about her
I don’t know what it is
But I know that I can’t live without her
She’s got a way of pleasin’, mmh
I don’t know what it is
But there doesn’t have to be a reason
Anyway

She’s got a smile that heals me, mmh
I don’t know why it is
But I have to laugh when she reveals me
She’s got a way of talkin’, mmh
I don’t know what it is
But it lifts me up when we are walkin’
Anywhere

She comes to me when I’m feelin’ down
Inspires me without a sound
She touches me and I get turned around
She’s got a way of showin’, mmh
How I make her feel
And I find the strength to keep on goin’
She’s got a light around her, ooh
And everywhere she goes
A million dreams of love surround her
Everywhere

She comes to me when I’m feelin’ down
Inspires me without a sound
She touches me and I get turned around, ooh, oho
She’s got a smile that heals me, mmh
I don’t know why it is
But I have to laugh when she reveals me
She’s got a way about her, mmh
I don’t know what it is
But I know that I can’t live without her
Anyway, hey

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Billy Joel
She’s Got A Way lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

♫ River of Dreams ♫

I had no song in my heart tonight … still seething and grieving over the wolves … and had decided to skip my music post today, when our friend Michael (Oikos-Editorial) from Germany commented on the Billy Joel song I played a few nights ago, Honesty, and said he also liked this one by Joel.  Well, the title didn’t start any fires in my poor ol’ tired mind, but when I listened, I remembered the song well and … the rest, as they say, is history.  Thank you, Michael, for salvaging my music post today!

Billy Joel gets a lot of song ideas in his dreams, and often struggles to remember them when he wakes up. For this song, however, he woke up with the song in his head, but tried NOT to write it …

“I thought, Who the hell am I to try to pull off this gospel song, so I took a shower to wash this song away. I sang it in the shower and knew I had to do it.”

Hey … I sing in the shower!  D’you think I might have a hit song just waiting to be released?

This is a very spiritual song where Joel, who identifies himself as an atheist, includes some biblical imagery, including the line, “Through the valley of fear,”  Joel also says that the river is a religious image, as “there’s baptizing in a river and you have to cross the river – people are getting dunked in the river and there’s rivers of blood.”

The cover of the River Of Dreams album was painted by supermodel Christie Brinkley, who was Joel’s second wife.  I did not know this!  

river-of-dreams

Joel performed this song at the Grammy Awards ceremony in 1994, where it was up for Record of the Year (it lost to Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You”). Joel, backed by a large gospel choir on a set designed to look like a church, used the false ending about two-and-a-half minutes into the song as an opportunity to make a point: instead of waiting a beat and continuing the song, he stopped cold, looked at his watch and said, “Valuable advertising time going by… dollars.” Joel later said that he was protesting because producers cut off Frank Sinatra’s acceptance speech earlier in the telecast when Sinatra was given a Legend Award.

This song did well worldwide … it reached #3 in both the U.S. and UK, and #2 in Canada, Austria, Ireland and Switzerland, and hit #1 in New Zealand.

The River of Dreams
Song by Billy Joel

Lyrics
In the middle of the night
I go walking in my sleep
From the mountains of faith
To the river so deep
I must be looking for something
Something sacred I lost
But the river is wide
And it’s too hard to cross

Even though I know the river is wide
I walk down every evening and I stand on the shore
I try to cross to the opposite side
So I can finally find out what I’ve been looking for

In the middle of the night
I go walking in my sleep
Through the valley of fear
To a river so deep
I’ve been searching for something
Taken out of my soul
Something I’d never lose
Something somebody stole

I don’t know why I go walking at night
But now I’m tired and I don’t want to walk anymore
I hope it doesn’t take the rest of my life
Until I find what it is that I’ve been looking for

In the middle of the night
I go walking in my sleep
Through the jungle of doubt
To a river so deep
I know I’m searching for something
Something so undefined
That it can only be seen
By the eyes of the blind

In the middle of the night

I’m not sure about a life after this
God knows I’ve never been a spiritual man
Baptized by the fire, I wade into the river
That runs to the promised land

In the middle of the night
I go walking in my sleep
Through the desert of truth
To the river so deep
We all end in the ocean
We all start in the streams
We’re all carried along
By the river of dreams

In the middle of the night

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Billy Joel
The River of Dreams lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group